With the SEAPARC land acquisition referfendum passing last weekend, many sport clubs are looking closely as to what will be developed in the coming years.
One such club is the Sooke Minor Fastball Association, which, says president, Chris Bryant, has seen an increase of 40 per cent in participants this year.
Part of the reason this increase is happening is shrinking green space in newer housing developments.
“If you look at the demand and the reasons behind it, smaller houses, smaller yards, to tell a kid to throw a ball in the back yard, it can be a challenging task,” he said.
SEAPARC’s referendum was a crucial moment in Sooke sports, bringing as sense of optimism, but there’s a lot of work left to be done, said Bryant.
“We hope that by the time Throup Road goes through here that there are plans in place for some type of sport facilities,” he said. “There’s a lot of thinking that needs to be done over the next few years.”
Bryant suggested that one of the ways to ensure sports in Sooke continue to thrive and expand is by working together and encouraging volunteerism within the community.
“Getting working groups together that can optimize the input of various groups, soccer, fastball, football, lacrosse or baseball, it’s a wide open field right now,” he said, adding that a sports organization should be able to back up its initiative and its plans with volunteers.
“We all have mandatory volunteer hours, doesn’t matter who you are or what your position is in the club, we’re out here cleaning the bathrooms or sweeping the dugouts … that sense of pride shown by the members is the oil that keeps the machine going.”
One way of creating and maintaining that pride is to include parents in not only the sport itself, but the volunteering side of it as well.
“It builds a better community right down to the grass roots level,” Bryant said.
With the minor fastball weather in full swing, Bryant looks forward to a good season at Art Morris Park.